By Samuel Opio
Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has announced that they will support the Democratic Party (DP) candidate in the by-election for the Busia District LC5 seat that is due on November 28, ditching a number of its own members who came up seeking to hold the party flag.
The district position fell vacant in May after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of the incumbent, Mr Ouma Adea, on grounds that he had a criminal record, having been convicted of corruption in 2013.
On Monday, the FDC leadership said despite having strong leaders in Busia, they have decided to rally behind Mr Deogratias Njoki, the DP candidate, who has vied for the same position in the last elections.
“We have had a long relationship with Mr Deo and we shall not field a candidate despite having strong leaders in Busia,” said Mr Harold Kaija, the party Deputy Secretary-General, during a press conference at the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi on Monday.
Several individuals had come forward seeking to carry the FDC flag in the election including Ms Kevina Taaka, the former Busia Municipality MP, Mr. Sanya Emmanuel Mango, the Samia Bugwe North chairperson, Mr Amin Sadik, the Busia Municipality chairperson, and Dr Were Odimbe, the district chairman.
The move is likely to galvanize the party position as it prepares to face the NRM, which is currently in turmoil after three of its members last week revealed that they will also stand; one on the party ticket and the other two as independents.
One is Mr Stephen Ouma who has pulled out of the party primaries, indicating that he would run as an independent in the forthcoming election. Another NRM cadre, Mr Simon Wasswa from the Samia Bugwe South constituency, has also expressed interest in the seat. The official party flag bearer is Mr Paul Oguttu.
The FDC revelation comes after FDC and JEEMA early this year clashed in Bugiri District over who to field between Asuman Basalirwa and Lydia Namatende for the Busia Municipality parliamentary seat that the JEEMA candidate eventually won.
FDC again clashed with its founding member Kassiano Wadri, who refused to tow the party line and came as an independent in the Arua Municipality by-election. The party had fronted Bruce Musema for the race in August. Backed by People Power pressure group, Wadri won the seat that was marred by violence.
The party had earlier clashed over supporting Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine in the Kyadondo East parliamentary seat, sticking to their incumbent Apollo Kantinti who eventually lost to the former.